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Know the Signs: Spotting Diabetes Symptoms Early

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Diabetes known as diabetes mellitus is a silent epidemic sweeping across Malaysia, affecting one out of every five adults aged 18 and above. Shockingly, a staggering 49% of these individuals remain undiagnosed and unaware of their condition.

Unveiling the Many Faces of a Silent Epidemic

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder marked by high blood sugar levels due to impaired blood sugar regulation. There are two primary types Type 1 is where the immune system destroys insulin-producing cells, necessitating external insulin use[1]. While Type 2 is usually associated with lifestyle factors like poor diet and inactivity, causing insulin resistance.

Recognizing Common Diabetes Symptoms

One of the key indicators of diabetes is frequent urination, especially at night, which signals elevated blood sugar levels. Excessive thirst accompanies this symptom, as the body attempts to compensate for the dehydration caused by frequent urination and the loss of fluids due to high blood sugar levels. Experiencing unusual tiredness or fatigue may serve as an indicator of diabetes. This fatigue can stem from a variety of factors, such as elevated blood sugar levels, dehydration, disruptions in sleep patterns, hormonal fluctuations, stress, anxiety, anemia, and underlying health conditions. High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, occurs when there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream. This condition can lead to increased urination and excessive thirst, potentially resulting in electrolyte imbalances and complications due to dehydration.

Diabetes-Related Fatigue A Closer Look
your fatigue may be related to diabetes

Individuals with diabetes often encounter changes in their sleep patterns, which may manifest as difficulties falling asleep, frequent awakenings, and the potential presence of conditions like sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Anemia, characterized by reduced red blood cells or hemoglobin levels, can further complicate diabetes management, potentially leading to increased fatigue and difficulties in regulating blood sugar levels. Hormonal shifts, such as insulin resistance and changes in hormone levels, significantly influence blood sugar control in those with diabetes. Stress can notably impact individuals with diabetes, potentially resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. Underlying health issues associated with diabetes may encompass neuropathy, cardiovascular complications, kidney damage, retinopathy, foot problems, skin conditions, Alzheimer's disease, hearing loss, as well as bone and joint issues.

Diabetes and Eye Damage
eye damage from diabetes

Moreover, diabetes can have a profound impact on eyesight. It can give rise to a condition called diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels in the retina of the eye. Over time, this damage can lead to vision problems and complications related to eyesight.

Empowering Health Preventing Diabetes
prevent diabetes

Based on International Diabetes Federation (IDF) data from September 2021, there's a global gender gap in diabetes, with about 17.7 million more men affected than women. Emerging research also suggests that women with diabetes may face more complications than men. Diabetes, whether Type 1 or Type 2, can start at any age. While prevention is key, for those already living with diabetes, proper diet and supplements can lead to a pain-free and hassle-free life.


1. Source: National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019